Dodgers-Rockies Preview

The Los Angeles Dodgers still own the best record in baseball,

but they won’t be the hottest team on the field Saturday at Coors


That would be the Colorado Rockies, who seek a sixth straight

win while trying to send the Dodgers to their longest skid in

almost two years.

While Los Angeles (32-20) holds the best record in the majors

despite a five-game slide, Colorado (22-29) has slugged its way to

a five-game winning streak, the club’s longest since a seven-game

run from April 9-15, 2011.

The Rockies are hitting .374 with 13 homers and 53 runs during

their run, which continued with a 13-3 rout Friday in the opener of

this three-game series.

“Coming out of spring training, we felt this was what our lineup

could do,” said Michael Cuddyer, who hit one of Colorado’s three

homers. “It’s a very deep lineup, one through eight, that can go

out there and produce. We’re gaining confidence now, and be where

we’re supposed to be.”

Cuddyer is batting .429 with three home runs, 13 RBIs and six

walks in 11 his last games.

Carlos Gonzalez’s production has been even more impressive. He’s

hitting .451 with seven homers and 15 RBIs in the past 12 contests.

The left fielder has connected for six of those homers while

knocking in 11 runs in the last six games.

Gonzalez has a career .438 average with 10 home runs and 29 RBIs

in 24 home meetings with the Dodgers. He’s also 5 for 12 with two

doubles and a homer off Aaron Harang, Saturday’s scheduled


Also on a tear is Dexter Fowler, who’s 14 for 23 with three

homers and nine RBIs in six games.

“We’re just putting it together as a group, as a team,” Gonzalez

said. “We have so many good hitters here who can do a lot of


The Rockies are scheduled to give the ball to Juan Nicasio (2-2,

5.11 ERA), who is 0-2 with a 5.86 ERA in five starts since beating

the Dodgers on April 30.

In that meeting, the right-hander allowed two runs over six

innings in a 6-2 victory. He was even more effective in the next

matchup at Los Angeles on May 12, yielding one run with nine

strikeouts in seven innings but left without a decision in a 2-1


The Dodgers will try to solve Nicasio this time in order to

avoid losing six in a row for the first time since Sept. 4-9,


They’ve been outscored 30-11 over their last five games, but are

showing signs of reversing that trend by hitting .317 over the last

three. However, that includes a .219 average with runners in

scoring position.

Harang (3-3, 4.14) is 1-3 with a 6.82 ERA in his last six starts

against the Rockies, but that victory came opposite Nicasio on May

12. The veteran right-hander allowed one run and four hits in eight


However, he has failed to pitch past the fifth inning in each of

his last two starts and is 0-1 with a 5.79 ERA in those